When you start a WordPress.com blog, the first, automated post says “hello world.” While it’s generally considered poor taste to leave this post up, it ironically fits this writing endeavor. I hesitate to call this an attempt at a travel blog (as I have repeatedly failed to develop a blogging habit, as you may find on the archives of this site).
Instead, let’s call this “travel writing.”
You might be wondering why. It’s not just semantics to me. I know what a good blog looks like, and this is not going to be it.
Good blogs have regular content (I offer no guarantee of consistent posts) with a distinct voice or theme; good blogs have compelling media; they have a target audience (I’m doing this mostly for myself, and family and friends – so, okay, I guess I have an audience) and good blogs are written well (this one, I’m going to try).
This is not a good blog.
Now that we’ve established what this is (not), you might be wondering: why now? Or rather, why not before?
Before beginning my adventure in Europe, an acquaintance asked why I wouldn’t blog about it. The question has stuck with me ever since.
I’ve always been worried it wouldn’t be a good blog, so why bother. In Big Magic, Elizabeth Gilbert writes about this.
I am finally headed towards a place where it’s okay if this A.) embarrassing or B.) not perfect. (Thanks, Liz.)
I love to write, and am looking for a way to explore this passion. I want to share my adventures with my family and friends. I miss you all so much, and this provides an additional lifeline between my travel experiences and the people I love. Through sending occasional email updates, I have also found that writing about my experiences helps me appreciate and process them.
I couldn’t shake the feeling that I needed an introductory post: a beginning. A story has a beginning. A middle. An end. By definition, it starts at the beginning. I can’t tell you exactly where this adventures started…
With my trip to Mexico with my Spanish class in 2009? During my study abroad in Toledo, Spain when I realized I wanted to live abroad? With quitting my first “big kid job” and jetting off with my backpack? Sometime before, a compilation of experiences that can’t be defined by a single minute? Destiny?
…But I can tell you how and why I started writing about it. That’s a beginning to me. I also needed a warm-up round of writing; a reminder I am writing for me (not money, future employment or fame); and, I needed to reassure myself – out loud – that it’s okay to write a bad blog.